On Unraveling the World and Letting the Queue Clear

We spend our lives creating, and waiting in, queues.  We do our best to manage the dead time in line and when we are responsible for the movement of any queue, we oftentimes become impatient with a process that more slowly unravels than the speed in which it tightened.

Sometimes there’s nothing to be done except to stand back and let the queue take on a life of its own and allow it to expire when the momentum of the movement is exhausted.

There are three kinds of basic queues that capture our daily lives: Physical, Virtual and Ethereal. Let’s examine them in kind.

Continue reading → On Unraveling the World and Letting the Queue Clear

Back Channel Blog Comments: The Wages of Sin for Not Facilitating Your Own Social Media Stream

I’ve been professionally writing for most of my life.  In 2004 or so, I bet big on daily blogging, and found a lot of success in the prairie days of the early, roughshod, internet.  Years before that, I was writing for paper and online magazines.

One thing I missed in my dedication to longform writing was the initial wave of mixing traditional work with social media networks like Twitter and Facebook.  So what I did, in effect, was to give over control of the discussion of my articles to the wild internet where — through back channel conversations of which I was not aware — my work was being discussed and evaluated.

Boles Blogs readership has remained vibrant and steady throughout the years and, lately, we’ve even been growing lots of Followers and LIKErs.  All numbers are up across the board, so I wasn’t searching for a cause — or even begging a reaction — concerning our direct-response comments flow.

Funny that people didn’t want to login using Twitter to comment on my articles here, but they were perfectly fine “discussing my work” on Twitter while logged into Twitter.  I understand that meme-shift, though.  Commenting here is participatory.  Starting a new Twitter stream makes you a publisher.  It’s all about dynamic control and perception.  You fight that sort of back-channel co-opting by being there and being alive and watching and responding.

The remedy for that missed meme was to not just propagate new articles into Twitter and Facebook, but to be more proactively lively in the Social Mesh to make more of a difference and to be more easily found.

Continue reading → Back Channel Blog Comments: The Wages of Sin for Not Facilitating Your Own Social Media Stream

Seeding the Social Mesh with Sprout Social

I’ve been testing several social media managers to continue the brand consolidation of everything Bolesian — and to help make updating the Social Mesh a much easier, and more centralized task.  I used to spend all day writing new updates for each, individual, social network.

Yes, handcrafting unique updates is always best, but sometimes time and tide work against that noble effort because you’re propagating old work instead of creating something new.  The rise of Google+ Pages Vanity URLs broke the handcrafted dam.

My first shot into managing all the social profiles — LinkedIn, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ Pages — was HootSuite.  I ultimately found the Hoot experience overwhelming and brittle and I hated using their image network and link-shortener.

Next, I tried Buffer — a good choice, but the vanity URL shrinker did not reliably work across all profiles, and images posted to my Twitter stream would not natively expand in view.  You had to click on the images to get them to show even though they were in the Twitter image bin.

Enter Sprout Social.  Yes, Sprout Social is expensive — a free 30-day trial does not equate with a free account like HootSuite and Buffer offer — but I knew NYU and other big organizations were using Sprout Social and, I thought, even though I now have over 20 social profiles to manage, and Sprout Social limits me to 10 accounts on their $39.00USD per month first-tier plan, I should still give them a try.

Continue reading → Seeding the Social Mesh with Sprout Social